Dear Friends, My husband and I have spent a lot of time visiting garden nurseries throughout the area to look at trees. We continue to be in the process of replacing the many trees we lost in the derecho storm in August 2020. Last week, the pressure to make a purchase was ramping up as we would be standing next to some lovely trees and one by one someone would walk up and put a “sold” tag on it. Pretty soon, I was getting frantic about grabbing just any tree and bringing it home. But even the idea of grabbing just any tree became overwhelming. Instead, I came home without a tree, I came home with a trunk full of flowers and vegetables. Certainly, I have recognized that I’m entering the season of letting go of what was, grieving the loss, and giving space so that I can embrace the movement, the creativity, and the joy of what is happening in my very moment, now. I had energy to imagine new gardens as my first step and then on to the trees. It was a step forward that freed me to experience the fullness of what is happening in my very own story of faithfulness. This week we celebrate Pentecost or the 50 days since Passover. In our Christian tradition on this Sunday, we wear red; we talk about the movement of the wind and the presence of the Spirit in our lives. I envision the Holy Spirit as moving and we are swept up with the joy of the spirit. But maybe there is a season when we envision and embrace the idea that the Holy Spirit, as the Advocate, whom Jesus says is coming in the Gospel of John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15 out of compassion and mercy to hold us and move us – forward – together. The Advocate, our forever friend, calls us out of hurt, fear, disappointment, isolation, our inward focus, our complacency, inactivity or simply loss of habit, and calls us to gather, to create, to plant, to grow in faithfulness and give thanks to a God who promises to love us first, to love us always, and inspires and commands us to love one another. I’ll see you in worship – THIS SUNDAY – dressed in Red! Together we journey with the companion, the advocate, the Holy Spirit, who promises to continue to guide and guard us on our journey now and always. Blessings, Pastor Katie P.S. I have heard some folks worried that if they make a reservation to come to worship, they are taking up a seat for someone else. Well, friends, if we get so packed that we need to make more room – we will! Go to the website, make a reservation, come, and give thanks! It feels so good to be together!